By Paul Ohia
A member of the British House of Lords, David Alton, has accused a London-based charity organisation, Al-Muntada Trust Fund, of financing the operations of Boko Haram.
According to the London-based Guardian newspaper, the parliamentarian raised concerns about the Al-Muntada Trust Fund’s activities with Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell in July, as well as with the United Kingdom’s Charity Commission and the Metropolitan police.
However, the paper, in its publication yesterday, quoted the country’s Charity Commission as stating that while they are aware of concerns regarding Al-Muntada’s affiliations with Boko Haram, they were unable to confirm whether those concerns are directly related to the London-based Al-Muntada, since there are several other charity organisations registered under the same name.
Nevertheless, the London-based Al-Muntada is notorious for being a platform for radical clerics, the Guardian reported.
The paper said the State Security Service (SSS) also has concerns about Al-Muntada allegedly funding Boko Haram.
The trust’s website shows that Al-Muntada Al-Islami parades itself as an independent organisation initially established in the UK to cater to the needs of the local community with a number of centres around the world, each delivering need-based projects through local initiatives.
Some of these projects include: feeding programmes for some of the poorest people in the world, educational programmes to tackle illiteracy, building of water wells, and community outreach programmes.
“Easy Zakat is your all in one solution for fulfilling your Zakat obligation. We, at Al Muntada Trust, understand the sacred importance of Zakat and how it must only go to the permitted eight categories of deserving people mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah,” the website says.
A call to the number found on the organisation’s website rang without response and an email enquiry was not immediately responded to.
The spokesman of the SSS, Marylin Ogar, told THISDAY she does not discuss security issues on the phone but promised to speak with a correspondent.